SBD/Issue 89/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Blackjack Or Bust: AOL, GSN Ink Brand Integration Deal

GSN has signed a brand integration deal with AOL that will give AOL “heavy exposure on 13 hours of GSN’s card-playing show ‘World Series of Blackjack,’” according to T.L. Stanley of AD AGE’s MADISON & VINE. AOL wanted a promotion that “could span online, on-air and on-site,” and AOL Games VP & GM Ralph Rivera said that blackjack “fit the bill and provided AOL with the opportunity to create a competition and community around it.” Rivera: “We wanted to take a game link and turn it into a destination.” Stanley notes AOL “also wanted original and exclusive content.” Rivera said, “We want to produce compelling programming to create a sustainable audience for our casino games area.” Stanley reports AOL will “carve out large chunks of virtual real estate for GSN and the show” instead of paying an integration fee. AOL is creating a blackjack area on its portal, where consumers can “play blackjack free, get tips from pros and enter a sweepstakes to win a chance to play in the series.” The deal is not attached to a media buy. AOL also recently signed a deal with Harrah’s for the World Series of Poker (MADISON & VINE, 1/25 issue).

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